Home Gaming Lazygamer Feature – Lap Time Comparison: GT5 vs Forza 3 vs Real Life

Lazygamer Feature – Lap Time Comparison: GT5 vs Forza 3 vs Real Life

1 min read


Ever wondered how close the lap times in games like Gran Turismo and Forza Motorsport come to the real thing?

We have been wanting to run this feature for just about forever, but had to wait for Gran Turismo to be released before we could do it properly. In this test we carefully selected two car/track setups to compare lap times with the real thing.

We sourced the real fastest lap times for each car on its respective track and then compared them to Gran Turismo 5 and Forza Motorsport 3.

Want to know which of the two is really the most accurate driving simulator? Hit the jump to find out.

Just a bit of added information before you take a look below:

The real lap times were pulled from www.fastestlaps.com

For the test, I acclimatized myself to each car/track for a very short while and then did 3 clean laps around the track. The average time was taken from the 3 laps, with the fastest of the laps recorded as well.

For the F40 test, as is true to the vehicle I ran the test with all assists off and used a manual gearbox. For the Audi R8 test, once again for accuracy to the real vehicle I allowed traction control, stability management as well as ABS.

It must also be noted that I put in the effort to drive 3 clean laps at a decently fast pace but could be considered completely average and safe rather than full attempts at breaking any records.

Although I consider myself completely capable of handling myself in a racing simulator, I do believe that the real-life drivers are better drivers than I but that their skill is balanced to mine due to the simulators lack of the fear factor and caution needed on a real track.

Here are the results found in our tests, we will be happy to answer any other questions in the comments and please feel free to run your own tests and post the results below.

Please click the image to view it at full size.


Last Updated: November 29, 2010


  1. Very interesting.


  2. Milesh Bhana

    November 29, 2010 at 12:57

    so… forza makes you go faster?


  3. Maxiviper117

    November 29, 2010 at 12:57

    Are you sure the F40 in Forza 3 was completely standard.
    no performance upgrades what so ever?


  4. Eet

    November 29, 2010 at 13:02

    Makes me wanna do this test myself


  5. lans

    November 29, 2010 at 13:06

    This is excellent!
    i am speechless keep up the good work!


  6. al360

    November 29, 2010 at 13:11

    hmmm very interesting indeed :happy:


  7. Syth

    November 29, 2010 at 13:16

    Very very nice! Thanks for the cool (but short) comparison!

    Laguna Seca is my favourite track to compare cars on, even from game to game.


  8. koldFU5iON

    November 29, 2010 at 13:20

    Cool article Nick, indeed interesting to find out how racing sims measure up to the real deal


  9. Eet

    November 29, 2010 at 13:24

    Nick jy is n legende my broe


  10. Kale

    November 29, 2010 at 13:26

    Next they need to add a punching arm to racing sims for when you crash :devil:


  11. Bobby Kotick for Dummies

    November 29, 2010 at 13:27

    If you were to run the lap races a couple hundred times and compare both GT5 to Forza’s you’d probably be left to conclude that the difference between the two and that of the real world examples are not statistically significant (with data error overlapping between Forza and GT5 – in other words, both games are doing a sterling job at simulating).


  12. Eet

    November 29, 2010 at 13:31

    My buddy just told me that Tsukuba (the track itself) on Forza3 isn’t an accurate take on the real track. Hence the F40 being that much quicker. I haven’t played it but he thinks so. ???


  13. Bobby Kotick for Dummies

    November 29, 2010 at 13:37

    There’s just something “off” about the backside of the Forza Audi… It looks kind of warped? Maybe my eyes are going… meh!


    • Chrisg

      January 13, 2011 at 18:46

      I think it’s the perspective, but it does look very strange.


  14. Nick de Bruyne

    November 29, 2010 at 13:41

    Honestly, its probably more down to the focal length used in the Photo Mode rather than the actual car model.


  15. Nick de Bruyne

    November 29, 2010 at 13:44

    If I can give a quick overview of my experience, I was pretty much able to load Forza 3 up and put the times in straight away whereas with GT5, especially with the F40 I got my ass kicked trying to do a clean lap at first. That bugger has a tricky long first gear when it comes to downshifting for corners


  16. Mitas

    November 29, 2010 at 13:45

    what a great piace , this is why lazy is the best local website ever!


  17. Roland Browning

    November 29, 2010 at 13:53

    All this does is proves that Forza 3 drivers are better than GT5 drivers.


  18. easy

    November 29, 2010 at 13:55

    i’ve been told in no uncertain terms a while back that lazygamer is not local… i’m glad you think the same.


  19. Eet

    November 29, 2010 at 13:59

    By far, I used to hang on IGN forever until my buddy posted me a link of note! I waste my workplaces bandwidth here now :angel:


  20. lans

    November 29, 2010 at 13:59

    @easy why is it not local, is it Australian?


  21. easy

    November 29, 2010 at 14:08

    i don’t know and i didn’t ask… i don’t really care as long as the content is good.


  22. Mitas

    November 29, 2010 at 14:10

    what ? i think its hosted overseas , so that lazy can get promo’s easier and review copies as well , but @nick , lazy is local right ?, or it started off local , hey here an idea , do a piece on the lazy’s history from concept to today , so us readers , or sheep , might know a lil more ?

    just my 2cents


  23. Nick de Bruyne

    November 29, 2010 at 14:11

    @easy Why are we not local?


  24. Aussious

    November 29, 2010 at 14:11

    I know this is old but please can you do a screen by screen comparison between Forza 3 and GT5, I must say GT’s car models have the edge when it comes to realism.


  25. Geoffrey Tim

    November 29, 2010 at 14:14

    We’re hosted overseas primarily because local bandwidth costs so damned much. That may change is the Mweb’s peering plan comes to full fruition though.

    We do try have a focus on local content…


  26. lans

    November 29, 2010 at 14:15

    oh by the way nick +999 GT cred


  27. Bobby Kotick for Dummies

    November 29, 2010 at 14:17

    Nick de Bruyne is clearly not a “local” name. πŸ˜›


  28. Geoffrey Tim

    November 29, 2010 at 14:17

    He’s actually a Zimbo..so ready those pitchforks! πŸ˜€


  29. Nick de Bruyne

    November 29, 2010 at 14:18

    Thanks, I think that puts me on +1998 points. Can I redeem them for money or something? Oh, I know. Please gift me all your supercars in GT5! :biggrin:


  30. Nick de Bruyne

    November 29, 2010 at 14:19

    Im half Zimbwabwean half Greek with an Afrikaans surname. I don’t know if I count. All hail Mugabanakis.


  31. lans

    November 29, 2010 at 14:34

    lol no dude that’s like 30 hours of sticky sweat!
    Your reward will present itself in time, Karma is your reward!


  32. Bobby Kotick for Dummies

    November 29, 2010 at 14:40

    He tryin’ to take our Wimmin and JuBZ!! :ninja:


  33. Desperado

    November 29, 2010 at 14:55

    Which version of Tsukuba was used (in forza)? I consider myself average at racing games but on the full track I was averaging 1.04.x after a handful of laps – your time is more like what I get on the short track!


  34. Nick de Bruyne

    November 29, 2010 at 15:17

    It was the long version on both games yeah.


  35. easy

    November 29, 2010 at 15:44

    i have never said lg wasn’t local, in fact i’ve always thought lg to be local.
    it was one of your readers/friends (wont mention names) that contradicted me when i made the ‘local’ statement.

    but now that i know you a zimbo… it changes everything πŸ˜‰


  36. Desperado

    November 29, 2010 at 15:45

    I need to practice then! πŸ˜‰


  37. Nick de Bruyne

    November 29, 2010 at 16:09

    They seem me rollin’, they hatin’


  38. John

    November 29, 2010 at 16:21

    what have you used to play the games? a wheel? a pad?
    btw, I think a game MUST be faster than real-life, because you don’t have the G-Force’s feedback and the fear to wreck a F40.


  39. Qaal

    November 29, 2010 at 16:42

    The R8 in Forza 3 is the 2008 one, even though it still has a 4.2 liter engine, it has a bit more power than the one from fastestlaps.com


  40. Fox1

    November 29, 2010 at 16:58

    There’s a cool video comparison @ The Lens of Truth 😎

    I haven’t seen so much foliage at Laguna Seca ever πŸ˜‰


  41. Gavin Mannion

    November 29, 2010 at 20:04

    Lazygamer is entirely local and I would love to hear where you heard we weren’t.

    We are hosted in the US simply because it’s impossible to cover our local bandwidth costs but if we could host locally we would.


  42. GT FAIL

    November 30, 2010 at 04:39

    – Metacritic scores –
    Forza3 – 92
    GT5 = 86

    FORZA3 is OFFICAILLY the Best Racer!!!


  43. No.

    November 30, 2010 at 04:54

    No. First metacritic only takes account of pretty much USA sites.

    Second, Yamaguchi owned some of reviewers by implementing ‘progressive damage/AI’ so review sites such as from IGN(lol) shouldn’t even count as review score because they obviously only played the game 2 hours and quit and start reviewing not knowing anything about the game
    third, sales number will tell you something else completely.
    4th, too many haters giving user review; seriously read some of review that gives negative score to GT5; I don’t see any specific things they don’t like about; they just generalize from stuff they heard from internet. They obviously never played the game


  44. Syth

    November 30, 2010 at 06:56

    Don’t feed the trolls!


  45. Mitas

    November 30, 2010 at 08:20

    ah the gt 5 vs forza 3 debate , well lets put it like this shall we

    Gt 5 is a pedigree that spawned almost all racing games , and racing games aim to touch the sweet lil bum that is GT , forza is a street puppy , a cute lil dog , but with weak blood and genes and no lasting appeal … The mere fact that somebody is willing to mention gt 5 and forza 3 in the same room is a disgrace , u will see wen forza 5 comes out we will still be playing gt 5 , and gt 5 will still be a better game overall … anyways my point is this …. GT is the absolute pinnacle of racing , and forza is fun to play ? :ninja:


  46. Bonk

    November 30, 2010 at 09:06

    What racing setup did you use? That is really important an makes a real difference in how you drive and impacts on lap times.


  47. Fox1

    November 30, 2010 at 10:48

    No No. You blame PD for not giving reviewers enough time for reviewing the game before the embargo was lifted. Most big review sites like IGN already had a schedule to review other games and most probably had to squeeze in the GT5 review because PD themselves kept on running delays for the past 5 years.

    Also does it state anywhere in the game manual that after level 40 fairies and pixies will appear and lift turn your car into a unicorn and lift it above the clouds? :silly:

    GT5 is not the only game in the world…Blops is :ninja:


  48. FreeStanler

    November 30, 2010 at 12:15

    Good artwork.

    This site really goes the extra mile (lame) :getlost:


  49. xbox3sixty

    November 30, 2010 at 13:21

    Forza is better , simple as that……


  50. Fred

    November 30, 2010 at 13:29

    So how many hours did you put into GT5 to come to that conclusion?


  51. Mitas

    November 30, 2010 at 13:35

    hows a couple of reason’s instead of just stating that ur a complete moron ?


  52. Bobby Kotick for Dummies

    November 30, 2010 at 14:33

    This man speaks the truth! :biggrin:


  53. Aussious

    November 30, 2010 at 14:55

    The funny thing is that its the European reviewrs that gave GT5 the most negative ratings (gamekult,Gamereactor sweden,etc…)I personally think the US and UK reviewers cut the game too much slack considoring all its short comings. Yes GT5 might be the best racing simulator on the market but Forza3 is the best racing game today!


  54. moronabove

    December 2, 2010 at 04:14

    Except for how Forza has bigger shortcomings, and is a far worse game… right?

    Here’s an idea for you, play the damn game first.


  55. ShiftRacer

    December 16, 2010 at 18:20

    Well…I gonna throw some gas into flames and say that modded NFS Shift with Audi R8 4.2 Laguna Seca and my almost flawless laptime was… 1:39.890 So does this mean NFS Shift with Overhaul Mod is most realistic racer? =)


  56. Freestanler

    December 17, 2010 at 12:38

    LOL good one!


  57. mopar

    December 23, 2010 at 06:45

    I stopped playing gt5 the moment they made muscle cars sound like rice burners. I was idiotic enough to buy a ps3 just so i could try out gt5. oh well at least i found a way to download movies on ps3 :angry:


  58. glenbob

    December 29, 2010 at 15:48

    Yeah!!!Forza drivers are better than real race car drivers too!!!


  59. glenbob

    December 29, 2010 at 15:56

    What muscle car sounds like a ricer in gt5???
    mine sounds awesome…maybe you were pretending your xbox was a ps3…dont blame you really


  60. Azurael

    December 30, 2010 at 06:52

    I have to say that after playing both GT5 and Forza extensively, I find Forza 3 to be the better game. GT5 obviously has better graphics – the premium cars are almost CGI-quality modelling (although both games are pretty disappointing coming from some of the latest generation PC games running on a high end rig but, let’s be honest, its not a fair comparison as both consoles are now based on 5 year old technology. You’d certainly never get close to what either of them can do with a PC of equivalent cost… I’m just allergic to jaggies!) Having said the graphics are better in GT5, after so long in development, I can’t help feeling like there just aren’t enough premium cars and the standard cars really belong in a game from the PS2/XBox era, whereas all the cars in Forza are modelled to a ‘tolerable’ level of detail and accuracy.

    Probably the biggest sticking point for me is the sound in GT5 – its absolutely dreadful. Everything bar the muscle cars sound like a cheap synthesizer in a tin can, where I think Forza does a better job (although again I’m not saying perfect – nothing computerised comes remotely close to the real sound of a Ferrari V8 at 8000 RPM, or even some of the stupidly tuned 6-cyl Japanese cars with a lightly-silenced exhaust.)

    The handling is pretty much tit-for-tat between the two games now, and they’ve both done an outstanding job of getting the ‘feel’ of the cars right – and thats not just opinion, the fact that these cars come so close to their real world lap times in both games is an outstanding merit for both teams. In terms of track modelling I’d say there’s very little to choose between them (although again, the scenery is prettier in GT5.)

    Casting a glance toward tuning, I think Forza 3 has a massive edge. Okay, some of the mods are a little bit unrealistic (can you really fit a massive V8 in a small transverse-engined car car? I don’t think so.) but the information the game gives you about the effects the modifications are having is a lot more useful, not to mention the fact that performance parts affect weight (you telling me a massive intercooler and lorry-sized turbo weigh nothing, Mr. Yamauchi? Or that installing a massive steel rollcage won’t affect F/R weight distribution?) and sometimes the performance mods you make to a car will be a compromise between affecting/improving the cars’ poise and balance and outright power.

    Both are very enjoyable games – masterpieces, even, but I feel like GT5 is a bit of a letdown purely because it doesn’t really live up to the hype it worked so hard to create. For me, Forza 3 probably has more lifespan (although I will probably go on to invest the near-hundreds of hours in GT5 I already have in Forza 3.) To be honest, a lot of this probably comes down to the satisfaction of being able to thrash an exotic supercar in a VW Golf Mk.1 :P, but I didn’t even mention the infuriating menus in GT5 (although at least load times were fixed by the HDD install on the 7200RPM drive I just slotted in my PS3.) And yeah, Forza 3 has serious issues too (like the fact that the best road car in the whole game when tuned appears to be the Viper ACR, purely because the game lets you have more downforce than it does with any other car…) but to me it feels more ‘complete’.


  61. Aussious

    December 31, 2010 at 10:03

    I have to agree with 360 as a game Forza 3 is better, I’ve been watching my friend who is a GT fanatic play it for almost a 2 weeks now its a very slow game to begin with takes forever to make progress and its also really unforgiving.The menu style is just plain PS2… some of the games features feel really new and others really,really old…


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